USPS Service Suspension to Australia

September 2nd, 2021 Comments off

9/15/2021 Update: The USPS has temporarily suspended Priority Mail International shipments to Australia as of September 17, 2021. To avoid disruption, use GlobalPost Standard or Priority Mail Express International to ship your packages to Australia. Get more info on GlobalPost Standard

The U.S. Postal Service has TEMPORARILY suspended First Class Package International Service (as of September 3, 2021) and Priority Mail International (as of September 17, 2021) delivery to Australia due to carrier issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Priority Mail Express International delivery is not being impacted and mailpieces will continue to be delivered.

If your First Class Package International Service parcel is already in transit, the international carriers will endorse the items as “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender” and then place the package in the mail stream for return. The USPS will provide a full refund of the shipping costs paid when service to the country of destination is suspended.

Alternate Delivery Options to Australia
If you have a shipment you need to send to Australia during this suspension period, we recommend the following options:

UPS International Shipping – get discounted rates up to 76% off with no peak surcharge

USPS Priority Mail Express International – get discounted rates up to 7% off Post Office rates

GlobalPost International Standard – Get door-to-door tracking capabilities to over 200 countries

What is GlobalPost International Standard?
GlobalPost International Standard uses a network of postal carriers which provides a similar service to First Class Package International Service at a lower rate.  If you don’t see GlobalPost International Standard as an option in your Stamps.com shipping software, contact Customer Care at 1-888-434-0055 (open Monday to Friday, 6 am to 6 pm PT) to request access to GlobalPost carrier services. 

USPS To Slow Delivery for First Class Package Service

August 1st, 2021 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service will be changing delivery times for First Class Package Service in the coming months. The proposed changes are expected to create longer delivery times for parcels traveling to farther distances (Shipping Zones 6, 7 and 8).

First Class Package Service is an ounce-based shipping service with the maximum weight of 15.999 ounces. The service, which is hugely popular with apparel, jewelry and cosmetics retailers, provides package delivery nationwide within 1 to 4 days including tracking for a maximum price of $5.98.

The suggested service change will remove air transport for First Class Package Service delivery to help lower costs and find transportation efficiencies. Currently, approximately 31% of First Class Package Service is transported via air carriers.

In fiscal year 2020, the USPS shipped 1.8 billion packages via First Class Package Service. Of that volume, the proposal would impact:

• 32% of the total First Class Package Service parcels shipped in FY 2020 (primarily Zones 6, 7 and 8) would see additional delivery time, moving from a three-day service standard to a four or five-day standard.
• 64% of the total First Class Package Service volume would not be impacted at all.
• 4% of the total First Class Package Service volume would see a service upgrade from three-day to two-day service.

First Class Package Service delivery volume has increased in recent years due to its low cost and faster delivery times being very appealing to online retailers:

First Class Package Service Delivery Volume:

PeriodPackages ShippedYOY Change
FY 20181,279,000,000
FY 20191,398,000,0009% increase
FY 20201,848,000,00032% increase

USPS to Implement Second Postage Rate Increase in 2021

June 4th, 2021 Comments off
August 2021 USPS Price Increase

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a second 2021 postage rate increase for mailing services (letters, postcards) to be implemented on Sunday, August 29, 2021 subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission. This would be the second USPS postage rate increase of 2021, with the first rate increase going into effect on January 24, 2021.

It’s important to note the August 2021 rate increase only impacts “Market Dominant” products, which are mail services such as First Class Mail letters, postcards and mailing services. The USPS DID NOT include package services such as First Class Package Service or Priority Mail, which are known as “Competitive” products. (This could change as additional USPS announcements are expected.)

Listed below are the highlights of the proposed August 2021 USPS rate increase:

  • The rate for a First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) for postage purchased at the Post Office will increase 3 cents to $0.58 from $0.55. Each additional ounce for First Class Mail will cost $0.20, no change from the January through July 2021 period.
  • If you print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate for a First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) will increase by 2 cents to $0.53 from $0.51.
  • With a 5 cents discount, printing postage online using the Metered Mail rate provides a 9% discount off the Post Office price.

First Class Mail Letter Rates - as of August 29, 2021

INCREASE PER LETTER - Jan 2021 Rates vs. Aug 2021 Rates
Mailpiece WeightJan 2021Aug 2021Increase
Letters - 1 oz.$0.55$0.58$0.03
Letters - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.20No Change
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - 1 oz.$0.51$0.53$0.02
Metered Mail Letters (Stamps.com Rate) - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.20No Change
Flat/Large Envelope - 1 oz.$1.00$1.16$0.16
Flat/Large Envelope - Additional Ounces$0.20$0.20No Change
Postcards$0.36$0.40$0.04
International Letters - 1 oz. (County Groups 1-9)$1.20$1.30$0.10
International Postcard (County Groups 1-9)$1.20$1.30$0.10
International Flats - 1 oz. (Country Groups 1-9)$2.40$2.60$0.20

Domestic mail services are increase in August 2021. Certified Mail is increasing to $3.75 from $3.60, a $0.15 increase. And Registered Mail is increasing to $13.75 from $12.90, an $0.85 increase.

Domestic Mail Extra Services - as of August 29, 2021

INCREASE PER SERVICE - Jan 2021 Rates vs. Aug 2021 Rates
Mailpiece WeightJan-21Aug-21Increase
Certified Mail$3.60$3.75$0.15
Certified Mail Restricted Delivery$9.15$9.75$0.60
Registered Mail$12.90 and up$13.75 and up$0.85
Signature Confirmation - Mail$3.20$3.45$0.25
Signature Confirmation - Electronic$2.70$2.90$0.20
Return Receipt - Mail$2.85$3.05$0.20
Return Receipt - Electronic$1.75$1.85$0.10
Adult Signature Required$6.90$6.90No Change
Adult Signature Required, Restricted Delivery$7.15$7.15No Change
Package Intercept$15.25$15.25No Change
Pickup on Demand$25.00$25.00No Change
USPS Tracking Plus - Scan RetentionStarts at $2.10Starts at $2.10No Change
USPS Tracking Plus - Scan + Signature RetentionStarts at $4.59Starts at $4.59No Change

Media Mail rates will increase by an average of 10.865% in August 2021. A 1 lb. package traveling to Zone 8 will be $3.19 in August 2021 from $2.89 in January 2021, an increase of 30 cents.

USPS Media Mail Rates - as of August 29, 2021

INCREASE PER PACKAGE - Jan 2021 Rates vs. Aug 2021 Rates
WeightJan-21Aug-21Increase
1 lb.$2.89$3.19$0.30
2 lbs.$3.45$3.82$0.37
3 lbs.$4.01$4.45$0.44
4 lbs.$4.57$5.08$0.51
5 lbs.$5.13$5.71$0.58
6 lbs.$5.69$6.34$0.65
7 lbs.$6.25$6.97$0.72
8 lbs.$6.81$7.60$0.79
9 lbs.$7.37$8.23$0.86
10 lbs.$7.93$8.86$0.93

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on August 29, 2021

Once the rates are approved by the PRC, Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, August 29, 2021.

If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will AUTOMATICALLY see the 2021 USPS rates in the platform.

USPS To Change Priority Mail Express Delivery Times

April 30th, 2021 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service is proposing a delivery time change for Priority Mail Express.

Currently, Priority Mail Express has two guaranteed delivery times within the 1-2 business-day service standards:
Option #1: 12 Noon or 3 p.m. (depending on originating zip code and delivery address)
Option #2: 10:30 a.m. (in select locations, for an extra $5 fee)

The USPS is proposing to eliminate the 10:30 am delivery time and will be adjusting the regular Priority Mail Express delivery from 12 noon/3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the designated delivery day.

If the Postal Regulatory Commission approves the change, starting Sunday, May 23, 2021 all Priority Mail Express packages will be delivered by 6 p.m. regardless of the originating zip code and delivery address.

The shipping price for Priority Mail Express will not change with this delivery time adjustment.

Get more information on Priority Mail Express.

Categories: USPS News Tags:

USPS Mailing Standards For Lithium Batteries

March 12th, 2021 Comments off

This article includes updates effective March 12, 2021

Shipping Regulations
When shipping lithium batteries, businesses must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) standards for preparing shipments that contain lithium batteries.  The standards are in place to ensure the safe transportation of shipments that include these batteries and cells.  Shippers are responsible to comply with these regulations or risk fines.

Luckily the USPS shipping regulations align with DOT and PHMSA regulations—so as long as your shipment follows USPS regulations, you are in the clear.

USPS Standards for Domestic Shipments Containing Lithium Batteries

  • Each cell cannot contain more than 1 gram of lithium
  • Each battery cannot contain more than 2 grams of lithium
  • All packages must contain a complete return address
  • For non-installed batteries, your package must have a DOT-approved lithium battery mark (UN3090)

Standards for Shipping Installed Batteries

  • Installed batteries must be protected from short circuit
  • Devices with batteries must have protection to prevent accidentally being powered-on
  • Equipment must be cushioned

Shipping Lithium Batteries to International Destinations?

Lithium batteries can only be shipped internationally if they are installed in the equipment they operate.  Shipping carriers are not allowed to ship packages containing only lithium batteries or cells to international locations – they must be included inside a product.  No markings or documentation are allowed on these international mailpieces.  This rule applies to all international as well as APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

More info on the U.S. Postal Service’s Lithium Battery mailing standards is available on the USPS.com site.

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